Force India tell drivers to cut out the crashes

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Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil have been warned not to repeat the first-lap collision they had in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley said: “It’s not really what we need to be doing on the first lap.”

Di Resta clipped the back of his team mate’s car at the exit of the turn 14 hairpin and ran wide onto the grass, losing several places.

Fernley said his drivers should give each other more space: “I suspect that Adrian got catapulted off the curb, something like that happened so he didn’t give Paul enough room there.”

It’s not the first time Force India’s drivers have compromised each other at the start. In Abu Dhabi last year Di Resta collided with then-team mate Nico Hulkenberg at the first corner, putting the latter out of the race.

Sutil retired soon after but Di Resta recovered to finish seventh and give Force India their first points in Shanghai. Fernley said that without the contact they might have finished in front of fifth-place Jenson Button.

Di Resta said the collision meant he spent more time stuck in traffic. I was battling with Nico on the opening lap, but unfortunately there was some contact with Adrian down at the hairpin, which put me on the grass and set us back three or four places.”

“After that I was stuck in the pack, my tires were graining, and I couldn’t really make much progress. It wasn’t until the third stint that I was in some clean air and the pace of the car was very strong.”

Force India have previously taken steps to prevent on-track incidents. Di Resta was told not to overtake Sutil in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”